America Needs Buchanan's Principles - Not his Candidacy

America Needs Buchanan's Principles - Not his Candidacy

Almost immediately after Pat Buchanan's newest book, State of Emergency, became available for purchase, remnants of the Buchanan Brigades, the Peasants with the Pitchforks, and new converts who have been encouraged that someone finally has the courage to recognize that uncontrolled immigration is hurtful to America's stability began clamoring for him to mount a new run for president.

The idea is personally gratifying because I have witnessed, since the GOP vilification of us populists who rallied around Our Pat in 1996, the country become imperiled because Republican leaders have run from the very issues Buchanan has raised since 1992.

When I think back to how the party characterized us as a bunch of xenophobic, racist bigots who lived in irrational fear of the great global utopia into which they promised to usher America, I can't help but to feel a bit smug about how the GOP's titular leader, President Bush, struggles to find the right words to tell us that what we are seeing with the melt-down in the Middle East, the erosion of working wages, the strains that dual careers are causing to families, the transplanting of American factories to the labor markets of the third world, and the choking out of the working middle class is not a reflection of the reality he wants to create for us. My continual, vengeful, mean-spirited, human instinct is to simply think, “It couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch of people.” Comment on this Article at our Forum

Is it too much point out that besides warning against uncontrolled immigration, Buchanan declared to America, in 1992, that, “There is a religious war going on in our country for the soul of America. It is a cultural war, as critical to the kind of nation we will one day be as was the Cold War itself. And in that struggle for the soul of America,...” Sadly too many of us did not understand what was at the core of that struggle for America's soul, and now we are largely stuck with dealing with the consequences of our ignorance.

In his first book that took on the direction of the nation in the post Cold War era, The Great Betrayal (Little Brown, 1998), Buchanan pointed out that America grew to become a global economic and social power through labor, industry, and a protected working middle class that was that was dedicated to providing for home and family. He documented how, since 1945, the nation had been led from that foundation to gorge itself on consumerism, corporate profit, and elusive promises of world peace and plenty provided by free trade and the global economy.

When Pat talked of the culture war, we didn't want to accept the idea that the value we place upon our work was a central part of that. Too many of us who banked our future on the hopes of an ever-growing stock market, perpetually expanding 401-K's, expanding borders promised by faithfully repeating “The Prayer of Jabez”, and the promise of always going to Wal Mart and finding everyday low prices on goods “Made in the USA”, thought that the culture war was about seeing nudity on the TV, teenagers getting pregnant, and homosexuals getting married. So we eschewed the message of the value of work and labeled it to be pro-union and, perhaps communist at its core. Comment on this Article at our Forum

Now, though, the American working middle class is in a full-fledged wage war with the caste systems of the world. Profits are soaring for the Fortune 500 and the top executives are rewarding themselves with huge raises—just so they can stay ahead of professional athletes, lobbyists, and political advisers, but the real wages of Americans are in their harshest decline in 15 years.

The emergence of the new American caste system that can only come from a materialistic and amoral culture that values power, wealth and self gratification above principle, people and their social, cultural, and economic contributions has provided great benefit to the political system and the news industry. Political campaigning has become a year-round industry that sees nearly a billion dollars filter through Democrat and Republican coffers during presidential election years—and this does not include money spent on congressional, state, local elections. That money filters through the political parties and goes into the media machine that produces the information we use to select our elected leaders.

The fact of the matter is that the political system is not going to allow any movement or individual to threaten that flow of wealth. The one thing that doomed the Buchanan movement during those heady days of the mid-'90's was his promise that, “...when I raise my hand and take that oath of office, that New World Order comes crashing down.” Buchanan has detailed, through four books since The Great Betrayal, the reasons for our national decline, the principles that can preserve American culture and society, and the steps that we need to take to turn the nation back to its roots.

In every case his message is that we take stock in each other and resist the temptation to pass power to a central authority to care for our problems—whether that central authority be a manufacturer that can promise us cheap consumer goods because it uses Chinese slave labor, or a federal government that steps in and tells us who we can hire at what rates while it neglects controlling an immigration movement that is placing downward pressure on working wages.

Another Buchanan campaign for president is not going to successfully turn the ship of state around. Primarily because if it is successful, he will be alone in a bipartisan sea dedicated to self preservation. If he should gather enough popular support to conquer the political process to be elected president, the political system will take that as a direct threat on its hold on power and respond as a wounded animal fighting for its life.

More importantly, however, those of us who consider a new Buchanan candidacy to be an opportunity to change the direction of the country need only to review what the GOP did to choke off his campaign so it could forfeit the presidency to the re-election to Bill Clinton. The venom of the system will be much more deadly this go around and it will be aimed at not only incapacitating the head, but killing off the body as well—after all, why are unwarranted wire taps proceeding without congressional oversight?

Buchanan's prose has been an inspiration to millions of Americans for more than a decade. The problem for us is that inspiration has been scattered through a nation of more than three hundred million with a political system that has been increasingly centralized for more than a century. The political system has too much control over the minds of the public to think that it can be displaced easily—taking on that system will require a long march of reason and activity.

For that reason the suggestion is made here to the Buchanan Brigades, the Peasants with Pitchforks, and the newcomers who have been put off by the election-year bate and switch conservatism of the GOP that we now devote ourselves to verbalizing the principles of constitutional federalism and work to the election of local and state office holders who will uphold them. Doing so will begin building a new infrastructure to give political support to someone who will actually respect America's governing principles upon his election. Comment on this Article at our Forum

By Bob Strodtbeck



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